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Home » Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way by Carmine Gallo (Transcript)

Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way by Carmine Gallo (Transcript)

Carmine Gallo

In this talk at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Carmine Gallo discusses his ‘New Rules of Persuasive Presentations’ which is how to sell your ideas effectively, just as Steve Jobs did…


Carmine Gallo 

Good afternoon. Thank you, thanks for inviting me.

Today I want to help all of you sell your ideas the Steve Jobs way. I’d like to call this the New Rules of Persuasive Presentations. Because I think too, a lot of you, these techniques will be new, or at least maybe it’s a new way of looking at an old problem, which is how do we sell our ideas effectively?

As graduate students at Stanford, you all have ideas to share. You have ideas for new products, new businesses, new methods, new ways of doing things, ideas that are going to change the world. Some people are better than others at telling their story. Steve Jobs, for example, is an extraordinary storyteller.

He’s so exceptional, in fact, I wrote an entire book on him. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

Now this book I am proud to say has become an international bestseller. And companies around the world, companies that recruit from Stanford are using some of these techniques to completely transform the way they communicate the vision behind their companies.

How many of you were here when Alan Mullaly spoke, CEO Ford, last week? Alan called me personally last year, called me on my cell phone, I was actually in the gym at the time on my treadmill. Kind of embarrassing, I’m running out thinking, why is this guy calling from Detroit?

And he said, this is Alan Mullaly from Ford, just want to know, I read this cover to cover, it’s really helped a lot. So that’s the kind of reaction I’m getting from people.

But it’s not just about Steve Jobs, I’m going to give you ideas from many, many other communicators who consciously or not applied the very same techniques when they’re pitching their companies or pitching their products.

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But let’s begin with a premise, I hope we can all agree with? A person can have the greatest idea in the world, but if that person cannot convince enough other people it doesn’t matter. It’s always mattered to Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs always thinks differently about communicating the vision behind Apple. Now what can the rest of us learn? I learned quite a bit, techniques that I now offer my clients. And my clients touch your life every single day. From the computers you buy, to the electronic gadgets you use, to the foods you eat, to the medical devices that keep you healthy. To the cars you drive, to the gas that goes into those cars, and the energy that keeps America moving forward.

My clients are in the news every day. They improve your life every day, and they are using these techniques, and some of them here, especially which is a big client of mine.

Recruits directly from Stanford, and they are using these techniques. So I hope that you are a receptive audience. I want to teach you some of the techniques that we use with high level executives. Okay?

Shall I go through them? The ones that apply to you specifically, the ones that you can adopt today. For your very next presentation. I’m going to start with the most important one.


Passion is everything. You cannot inspire unless you’re inspired yourself. And for Steve Jobs, passion plays a very, very important role at Apple.

In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a 12 year absence. Apple was very close to bankruptcy at the time. Steve Jobs held an informal staff meeting. I’m going to show you a clip from that meeting. It’s informal and you can tell because he’s wearing shorts. When he really wants to dress up he’ll wear blue jeans and running shoes.

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So informal staff meeting, but listen to the role passion would play in the revitalizing the Apple brand.

….”Marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us. Our customers want to know who is Apple and what is it that we stand for? Where do we get influence? And what, what about us. Isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well, we do that better than almost anybody in some cases. But Apple is about something more than that. Apple, at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.” – Steve Jobs to Apple employees, 1997

People with passion can change the world for the better. This man certainly believes that.

Richard Tait was a client of mine about five years ago. Classic American Entrepreneur. Sketches an idea, on the back of an airplane napkin during a cross-country flight. An idea for a board game, in which everyone could excel, in one area or another. Some people are better at trivia, art, culture, music.

What game did he build? Cranium. What – Cranium headquarters? And you are here with a wave of fun, and enthusiasm, and engagement. The likes of which I have rarely seen in corporate America. But again you need to understand that it starts from the leader, it starts from the entrepreneur whose vision it was to build that company.

But what is Richard Tait passionate about? Passion is contagious by the way. He is passionate not so much about building board games, he’s passionate about building self-esteem. And it comes across in every conversation you have with him. And in every television interview. Especially when he’s asked a question like, where do great ideas come from? I, I can feel these ideas. You just know when you’re on to something. And just don’t take no for an answer.

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You’ve just got to keep pushing, you know, resilience and perseverance. Those are the key characteristics of an entrepreneur. They can feel the idea and just don’t take no for an answer. We — potentially when we got sacked at first, and they said just don’t leave your day jobs you know you’re crazy. Everyone was telling it as we were crazy. I even called up my own dad and I said to him I was going to leave Microsoft and start a games company and he said to me, what should I tell my friends? This is how I followed my heart.

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